From truck bombs to shoe bombs to underwear bombs, terrorists have never shown a lack of ingenuity in plying their deadly trade. The profile of a terrorist, and even the kind of attack that can be classified as terrorism, is a constantly moving target that continues to keep law enforcement, policy makers and the military on their toes. But even nine years after 9/11, the millions of hours and billions of dollars thrown into combating terrorism, there still seems to be a lack of intelligence—and the practical application of that intelligence—to stop terror attacks. One must look no further than the failures of airport security in the attempted Christmas Day underwear bombing for examples of unlearned lessons in the fight against terrorism. Moreover, there are future lurking dangers like cyberterrorism and the very real possibility of a terror attack using a weapon of mass destruction. Are we ready for the next 9/11?
Wesley Clark, retired General, U.S. Army; former Supreme Allied Commander, NATO
Erroll Southers, Associate Director of the Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California